May 19, 2020

Australia First to Give Gardasil Vaccine to Teen Boys

University of Queensland
Tanya Plibersek
Bizclik Editor
2 min
Australia First to Give Gardasil Vaccine to Teen Boys

Today, Australia will become the first nation in the world to give the Gardasil cervical cancer vaccine to boys aged between 12-13 years old, with boys aged 14-15 expected to receive it in the coming months, the Daily Telegraph reported.

The vaccine, used to fight off 70 per cent of cervical cancers caused by HPV (human papilloma virus), has already been used to protect more than one million teenage girls in Australia between the ages of 12 and 16 under a free program.

Though boys cannot develop cervical cancer, they are still capable of carrying the virus and infecting female sexual partners.

Developed by Australian scientist Professor Ian Frazer, the vaccine has proven its value in several studies: Last year, Melbourne’s Royal Women’s Hospital said Australia’s vaccination program had dropped the prevalence of some HPV types by 77 per cent.

“The addition of the HPV vaccine for young males on the National Immunisation Program is good news for the young men of Australia,” said Professor Frazer, who serves as CEO and Director of Research at the new Translational Research Institute and is also a leading researcher in immunotherapy at The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute.

“This is a very safe and effective vaccine and vaccinating boys will also further benefit women who have not been vaccinated through herd immunity.” 

According to the University of Queensland, more than 23 million people in over 70 countries worldwide have been vaccinated.

In Australia, more than 900,000 teenage boys are expected to receive the vaccine over the next four years.

"We know that vaccinating boys will protect them from cancer and genital warts… and reduce the rates of cervical cancer among women,'' Health Minister Tanya Plibersek told the Daily Telegraph.

"If there was something you could do now, as a parent, that would protect your children from a range of cancers and disease in the future when they are adults, wouldn't you do it?'' she said.

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Jun 7, 2021

Business Chief Legend: Ho Ching, CEO of Temasek

3 min
Singaporean Ho Ching created the largest listed defence engineering company in Asia, before leading Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund to global success

Ask Singaporeans who Ho Ching is, and the majority will answer the ‘wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’. And that’s certainly true. However, she’s also the CEO of Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, and one of the world’s largest investment companies.

Well, she is until October 1, 2021, as she recently announced she would be retiring following 16 years as CEO of the investment giant.

Since taking the reins in 2004, two years after joining Temasek as Executive Director, Ho has gradually transformed what was an investment firm wholly owned by Singapore’s Government into an active investor worldwide, splashing out on sectors like life sciences and tech, expanding its physical footprint with 11 offices worldwide (from London to Mumbai to San Francisco) and delivering growth of US$120 billion between 2010-2020.

Described by Temasek chairman Lim Boon Heng as having taken “bold steps to open new pathways in finding the character of the organisations”, Ho is credited with building Temasek’s international portfolio, with China recently surpassing Singapore for the first time.

As global a footprint as Ho may have however, she has her feet firmly planted on Singapore soil and is committed to this tiny city-state where she was not only educated (excluding a year at Stanford) but has remained throughout her long and illustrious career – first as an engineer at the Ministry of Defence in 1976, where she met her husband, and most notably as CEO of Singapore Technologies, where she spent a decade, and where she is credited with repositioning and growing the group into the largest listed defence engineering company in Asia.

It’s little wonder Ho has featured on Forbes’ annual World’s Most Powerful Women list for the past 16 years, in 2007 as the third most powerful woman in business outside the US, and in 2020 at #30 worldwide.

But it’s not all business. Ho has a strong track record in Singapore public service, serving as chairman of the Singapore Institute of Standards and Industrial Research and as deputy chairman of the Economic Development Board; and is a committed philanthropist with a focus on learning difficulties and healthcare.

As the pandemic kicked off, she not only led active investments in technology and life sciences, with German COVID-19 vaccine developer BioNTech among the most recent additions to Temasek’s portfolio, but through the Temasek Foundation – the firm’s philanthropic arm which supports vulnerable groups close to Ho’s heart, handed out hand sanitiser and face masks.

So, you would be forgiven for thinking that at age 68, Ho might simply relax. But in March 2021, just as she announced her retirement from Temasek, Ho joined the Board of Directors of Wellcome Leap, a US-based non-profit organisation that’s dedicated to accelerating innovations in global health. Not ready to put her firmly grounded feet up yet it seems.


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